After this week’s decision by North Korea to stop answering a military hotline between border control posts at the Kaesong Industrial Zone, there remains just one known link through which North and South Koreans can still directly speak: an air traffic control connection between Seoul and Pyongyang.
The connection, a vital safety link for air traffic overflying the two countries, was first opened in 1998 when the DPRK opened its airspace to overflying aircraft. Before then, aircraft had to fly around the country and that meant longer flights and higher fuel consumption. Opening North Korean airspace was estimated to bring savings More >
The CEO of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology (OTMT), which owns 75 percent of North Korea’s sole 3G cellular operator, is back in Pyongyang, according to KCNA. [Updated. See below]
The North Korean news agency said Naguib Sawiris arrived on October 4 with four colleagues. It provided a couple of pictures of Sawiris and his party at the airport.
From the airport, Sawiris went to the Mansudae Art Studio where he visited the equestrian statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and paid his respects. He laid a bouquet and “paid tribute to the peerlessly great persons,” according to the KCNA report.
Later More >
Back in 1998 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) improved its network connection into North Korea by linking the country’s air traffic control system via satellite.
The link, via Asiasat 2, was outlined in a presentation that was sent to me soon after. I hadn’t been able to find it for years, but just located a copy in an old email archive. While old and out-of-date, I thought there might be some interest in presenting some of the information here, and providing a bit of history:
Attempts to open up North Korea’s airspace began gathering pace in the mid nineties. Flying over the More >